Two weeks ago, a group of 19 volunteers helped us introduce 180 Year 10 students from Clapton Girls’ Academy to the job application process. Over the course of a full day of games, demonstrations and practical workshops, the volunteers got students thinking about how to present themselves to employers to secure their career goals.
The session also included performances from our frequent collaborators, the actors of Stand Up Theatre. Their witty sketches showed the students the right – and very wrong! – ways to approach a range of professional situations. The students really engaged with the performances: as one put it, “the theatre part was awesome”!
Facilitated by our brilliant employee volunteers, the students worked through a wide range of activities designed to develop their employability skills. The aims of the day, however, were much broader than simply teaching students how to write a good CV or understand the likely format of a job interview, but to help them assess their own skills and aptitudes, and to have the confidence to go after the career they want. One student told us that they “learnt to ‘be who you are’ during interviews, and that it’s not the end if you don’t get the job, you shouldn’t give up”.
You’re Hired!, previously known as Getting PAID, is one of a range of one-day programmes delivered by our Secondary Work-related Learning team. Though they each have a specific focus – Money Matters, for example, looks at personal finances, while Perfect Pitch and Custom Made set creative enterprise challenges – all of our programmes are brought to life by the real world experience of our generous volunteers. A huge thank you goes out to the enthusiastic group who joined us in Clapton, made up of employees from Natixis, Barclays, Willmott Dixon, Laing O’Rourke – and even a couple of members of the Inspire! team! Laura Devoucoux from Natixis said: “it was my first experience as a volunteer and I hugely enjoyed the day. Great interactions with the pupils and excellent team work!”
Charlotte Gaughan, Programme Manager, said: “It’s so important for young people to encounter real people with real stories to tell about the workplace. While CV writing and interview practice are key to helping students prepare for the working world, nothing can quite compare to the personal insights our volunteers provide.”